Two days of talks between 24 Irish Catholic Bishops and Pope Benedict and his senior officials have ended. It would appear that submissions made by some survivors of sexual abuse by priests have been completely ignored, specifically:
Pope Benedict has not articulated full acceptance of the findings of the Murphy Report, as we asked him to do, in order to quell the rise in revisionism and the surge in denial from some quarters within the Catholic Church in relation to its findings.
Bishops Moriarty, Walshe, and Field have not yet had their resignations accepted.
Bishop Martin Drennan has not been removed from office despite doing nothing to challenge the culture of cover up that existed in the Archdiocese of Dublin when he became a Bishop there in 1997.
Bishops, who stated in December 2009 that the culture of cover up as revealed in the Murphy Report about the Archdiocese of Dublin indicated a culture that was widespread throughout the Catholic Church in Ireland, have not offered to resign out of respect for the experiences of children who suffered as a result of that very culture.
And Bishops returning to Ireland do not appear to have come back from Rome with an expressed instruction from Pope Benedict to follow all Sate guidelines and protocols as they exist, and as they are further developed, in relation to the safety, welfare and protection of children.
It would appear that self preservation and damage limitation for the Catholic Church is still a higher priority for Pope Benedict and the Bishops than the concerns and wishes of people who had been sexually abused as children by priests in the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin over many decades, and that hardly represents change. I can only conclude that the Catholic Church remains a disgraced, discredited organisation that seems to be entirely incapable of responding in any intelligent, meaningful way to the findings of the Ferns, Ryan and Murphy Reports.
END - 16/02/2010